Undergraduate Research Fellowship Application

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Early Cycle Applications

We run an early application cycle for incoming freshmen in order to be notified of their status in advance of the May 1 Common Deadline.

Applications will open on February 1 and will close at 11:59pm MST on February 15.

Students will be notified of initial award decisions before May 1. Limited early-application offers will be made; any students not initially selected will be considered again in the general application cycle. Do not submit a second application if you apply in the early cycle.

General Cycle Applications

The second application cycle is open until 11:59pm on June 15. All early-cycle applications will be considered alongside the general-cycle students using the same review criteria and point system; the only benefit to applying early is the opportunity to be considered against a smaller pool of candidates and receive a decision (either an offer or waitlist) in May. All early and general cycle students will be offered fellowships as our initial offers are accepted or declined, meaning that decisions are rolling through the summer.

ALL Applicants

In order for your application to be considered for Fall semester, you must be:

  • An incoming freshman, sophomore, or upperclass undergraduate student with at least six semesters left before graduating
  • Intending to enroll as a full-time student for Fall semester or to file a Notification of Leave or Deferment that would defer your acceptance at USU
  • If already a USU student, in good academic standing, with preference given to students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher

Both application periods use the same eligibility and reviewing criteria. The separate cycles allowed incoming freshmen the opportunity to apply for and be accepted to the URF program in time to consider the fellowship as part of their offer at USU in advance of the May 1 deadline that many schools have to accept a place at their institutions.

You will need:
  • Contact information
  • A-number, if you have one
  • Unofficial transcript
  • CV or resume
  • 4 Essay responses (< 500 words each): Review the explanations and prompts below!

If you have questions about the URF program and application, please browse our FAQ before emailing any unanswered questions to the program coordinator, Athena Dupont, at athena.dupont@usu.edu.

Writing Prompts

"Research is a way of applying your classroom learning in the broader world, but it’s also another place where learning takes place. Researchers are lifetime learners, and their pursuits create new knowledge in their disciplines. Intellectual curiosity drives URFs to identify gaps in existing knowledge and to seek the information that will fill those gaps."


"Give an example of an unstructured learning experience that you have had (outside of school, extracurricular groups, or other organized opportunities). Why did you seek this knowledge? How did the experience compare to the other learning experiences, such as coursework, that you have had?"


"There is a level of maturity, confidence, and ethic that benefit anyone engaged in research, from new student learners to seasoned career researchers. We consider this to be ‘self-awareness’, encompassing a critical understanding of one’s self: The honest assessment of your abilities (confidence, but not arrogance), the limitations you have (humility, but not insecurity), and the willingness to work towards improvement."


"URFs are engaged in a broader community, from the other URFs to the USU student body overall to the broader research community. A strong researcher is an active participant in numerous communities. Likewise, you as an applicant are a member of small communities, such as your immediate or extended family, larger ones like your town or city, and even virtual communities like online groups focused on gaming, sports, or shared interests."


"The pursuit of the unknown requires experimentation. This can be the testing of a hypothesis, the attempt of a different creative method, or the application of a known variable to a unique situation. Because researchers do not have a known set of steps to take in order to reach a secure outcome, research inevitably involves frequent failure. Resilience, or the ability to grow from mistakes or set-backs and continue forward, is a necessary trait in a successful URF."


"Share an example of when you failed forward. Explain how this helped you grow, be it emotionally, professionally, or in any other capacity."


"Share with us the line on your CV/resume that you are the most proud of. What made this experience especially impactful to you? How does it show who you are as a person?"


"What is an issue you see in one of your communities that you would like to work to address? Why is it important to that community, and/or how might you begin research on that issue?"